Melanie Yates, 23, was putting her seven-month-old daughter to bed when she was shot dead inside her house in Zion, Illinois, near Chicago, say her devastated parents
A young mum-of-two was killed by a stray bullet as she read the Bible to her seven-month-old daughter at bedtime.
The bullet flew into the house and struck 23-year-old Melanie Yates in the head as she and her husband Daniel got their children ready for bed.
Daniel called out to her and asked if she had heard what sounded like fireworks, but she didn’t respond, said Melanie’s mum Lam Calderon.
He then went looking for her and found her wounded inside their home in Zion, Illinois, in the US, and called for an ambulance.
Daniel then took his two daughters to his in-laws’ home to explain what had happened to her last Saturday night.
Lam told ABC 7 Chicago: “He looked for her, where she was at in the house, and he found her shot in the head.”
“He came in and he told me that our daughter had been shot and we didn’t believe him. It was just unfathomable.”
Melanie’s father told WGN: “She was with her baby reading a Bible story to her seven-month-old and praying with her.
“You can see we’re struggling with them being traumatised.”
He added: “So the ambulance picked her up and took her she died on the way. But they resuscitated her and took her to (the hospital).”
Melanie died in her family’s arms in hospital on Monday morning after she was taken off life support, WGN
Her heart continued to beat for a time after life support was removed.
Melanie’s family said: “And she was so strong for 15 minutes, her heartbeat, and we held her in our arms.”
Police do not believe Melanie was the intended target of the shooting.
It is thought that about six shots were fired.
No-one has been arrested.